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Daily Readings For December 20

Please note that two distinct lectionaries are provided on this page: the two-year Daily Lectionary from the Book of Common Worship and the three-year Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) for Sundays and festivals; be sure you select the appropriate one.

Daily Readings Sunday/Festival Readings

Daily Readings for Friday, December 20, 2024


Morning Psalm 102

1   Hear my prayer, O LORD;
          let my cry come to you.
2   Do not hide your face from me
          in the day of my distress.
     Incline your ear to me;
          answer me speedily in the day when I call.


3   For my days pass away like smoke,
          and my bones burn like a furnace.
4   My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
          I am too wasted to eat my bread.
5   Because of my loud groaning
          my bones cling to my skin.
6   I am like an owl of the wilderness,
          like a little owl of the waste places.
7   I lie awake;
          I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
8   All day long my enemies taunt me;
          those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9   For I eat ashes like bread,
          and mingle tears with my drink,
10  because of your indignation and anger;
          for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
11  My days are like an evening shadow;
          I wither away like grass.


12  But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever;
          your name endures to all generations.
13  You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
          for it is time to favor it;
          the appointed time has come.
14  For your servants hold its stones dear,
          and have pity on its dust.
15  The nations will fear the name of the LORD,
          and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16  For the LORD will build up Zion;
          he will appear in his glory.
17  He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
          and will not despise their prayer.
18  Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
          so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD:
19  that he looked down from his holy height,
          from heaven the LORD looked at the earth,
20  to hear the groans of the prisoners,
          to set free those who were doomed to die;
21  so that the name of the LORD may be declared in Zion,
          and his praise in Jerusalem,
22  when peoples gather together,
          and kingdoms, to worship the LORD.


23  He has broken my strength in midcourse;
          he has shortened my days.
24  “O my God,” I say, “do not take me away
          at the mid-point of my life,
     you whose years endure
          throughout all generations.”


25  Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
          and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26  They will perish, but you endure;
          they will all wear out like a garment.
     You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
27       but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28  The children of your servants shall live secure;
          their offspring shall be established in your presence.

Morning Psalm 148

1   Praise the Lord!
     Praise the Lord from the heavens;
          praise him in the heights!
2   Praise him, all his angels;
          praise him, all his host!


3   Praise him, sun and moon;
          praise him, all you shining stars!
4   Praise him, you highest heavens,
          and you waters above the heavens!


5   Let them praise the name of the Lord,
          for he commanded and they were created.
6   He established them forever and ever;
          he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.


7   Praise the Lord from the earth,
          you sea monsters and all deeps,
8   fire and hail, snow and frost,
          stormy wind fulfilling his command!


9   Mountains and all hills,
          fruit trees and all cedars!
10  Wild animals and all cattle,
          creeping things and flying birds!


11  Kings of the earth and all peoples,
          princes and all rulers of the earth!
12  Young men and women alike,
          old and young together!


13  Let them praise the name of the Lord,
          for his name alone is exalted;
          his glory is above earth and heaven.
14  He has raised up a horn for his people,
          praise for all his faithful,
          for the people of Israel who are close to him.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Isaiah 28:9-22

9"Whom will he teach knowledge,
     and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from milk,
     those taken from the breast?
10For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
     line upon line, line upon line,
     here a little, there a little."

11Truly, with stammering lip
     and with alien tongue
he will speak to this people,
12   to whom he has said,
"This is rest;
     give rest to the weary;
and this is repose";
     yet they would not hear.
13Therefore the word of the LORD will be to them,
     "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
     line upon line, line upon line,
     here a little, there a little;"
in order that they may go, and fall backward,
     and be broken, and snared, and taken.

14Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers
     who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death,
     and with Sheol we have an agreement;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
     it will not come to us;
for we have made lies our refuge,
     and in falsehood we have taken shelter";
16therefore thus says the Lord GOD,
See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone,
     a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation:
     "One who trusts will not panic."
17And I will make justice the line,
     and righteousness the plummet;
hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
     and waters will overwhelm the shelter.
18Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
     and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
     you will be beaten down by it.
19As often as it passes through, it will take you;
for morning by morning it will pass through,
     by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on it,
     and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in it.
21For the LORD will rise up as on Mount Perazim,
     he will rage as in the valley of Gibeon;
to do his deed — strange is his deed!
     and to work his work — alien is his work!
22Now therefore do not scoff,
     or your bonds will be made stronger;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
     from the Lord GOD of hosts upon the whole land.

Second Reading Revelation 20:11-21:8

20:11Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. 13And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. 14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; 15and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

21:1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
     "See, the home of God is among mortals.
     He will dwell with them;
     they will be his peoples,
     and God himself will be with them;
4   he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
     Death will be no more;
     mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
     for the first things have passed away."

5And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." 6Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. 7Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children 8But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

Gospel Reading Luke 1:5-25

5In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

8Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." 18Zechariah said to the angel, "How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years." 19The angel replied, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur."

21Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. 22When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. 23When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

24After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, 25"This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people."

Evening Psalm 130

1   Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
2       Lord, hear my voice!
     Let your ears be attentive
          to the voice of my supplications!


3   If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
          Lord, who could stand?
4   But there is forgiveness with you,
          so that you may be revered.


5   I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
          and in his word I hope;
6   my soul waits for the Lord
          more than those who watch for the morning,
          more than those who watch for the morning.


7   O Israel, hope in the LORD!
          For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
          and with him is great power to redeem.
8   It is he who will redeem Israel
          from all its iniquities.

Evening Psalm 16

1   Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2   I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
          I have no good apart from you.”


3   As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
          in whom is all my delight.


4   Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
          their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
          or take their names upon my lips.


5   The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
          you hold my lot.
6   The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
          I have a goodly heritage.


7   I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
          in the night also my heart instructs me.
8   I keep the LORD always before me;
          because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.


9   Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
          my body also rests secure.
10  For you do not give me up to Sheol,
          or let your faithful one see the Pit.


11  You show me the path of life.
          In your presence there is fullness of joy;
          in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.